--A correspondent of the New York Tribune
, who accompanied Grant
's army regiment
upon Grand Gulf
, gives some of the incidents of the expedition.
He has quite a fancy for scenery and fine houses.
He dates from Judge Perkins
's plantation, which he describes as opposite that of President Davis
's, which was long ago desolated by the hands of the barbarian.
The writer says:
A hunter in the jungles of India
mysterious central forests of A more effectually removed from home ization than we of the Mississippi Vicksburg
and Port Hudson
. Five miles above, the princely mansion of Mr. James
, with its colonnades and cupola, is visible far along the river.
Immediately on the shore is the former home of Mr.
, now one of the rebel Congressmen.
Upon the news of the capture of New Orleans, he see fire to his house with his own hand.
Already, glimpses of its ruin seen through "immemorial elms," furnish a rare picture of antique beauty.
The close shaven grassy glades, the oaks clustering or solitary, rising in a perfect round of dense, deep, cool verdure, with their "thousand years of gloom," I have never seen surpassed.
But the foot of the invader has profaned these elysian pleasure grounds, and the canvas of our army mingles with the lawn and foliage.
The expedition proceeding down the river, comes in sight of Grand Gulf
, when it pauses and the robbers go ashore, and what happened there is described in the following nonchalant manner:
Stimulated by the laudable desire to confiscate poultry and onions, the two articles which complete the prandial bliss of the soldier, Uncle Sam's boys are soon among the honeysuckles and flowering hedges of Dr. Hollings
worth's delightful abode.
There is a sweet perfume among the flowers and a balmy air breathes through the dense shrubbery, but they have no charms for the forager.
He is among the out-houses, "Up stairs, down stairs, and in my lady's chamber." The cackle of frightened hens and ducks is heard in all directions.
The writer describes the Doctor
as one of the chivalry and a bitter secessionist, who frankly gave the Yankees
his opinions.--"Gens. Benton
being accustomed to look at the chivalry through their Union prejudices, and being no great respecters of persons, immediately made themselves at home in the Doctor
's quarters." So says the letter, and it certainly gives a modest account of the reality.
The robbers no doubt looked at everything that was movable and desirable — everything that was good — with Yankee eyes, and took it. What punishment so lovely, so beautiful, so grateful to a Yankee as to take a man's property from him. There could be no greater punishment for a Yankee--not even to take his life — and of course he thinks it the severest for other people.
But when the double purpose of punishing the enemy and supplying himself with goods and valuables can be accomplished at the same time, the appropriateness and felicity of the proceeding is indescribable.
We give one more picture of the Southern
homes the vandals are desolating.
They had passed Grand Gulf
, and were two miles inland. "Gens. Carr
are in the van, and halt, panting with excessive heat, and wearied with want of a night's rest, in front of the magnificent grounds of Mrs. Daniel
's estate." A fine place, indeed, for Carr
, who seem to know where to stop!
The writer proceeds:
The residence, with its cupola, its airy galleries, and well high two score of immense pillars surrounding it on three sides, looks like a temple, from its commanding height.
It is the grandest residence I have seen in the South
, and one of the grandest in the country.
The structure itself cost $80,000. Its interior adornments are correspondingly palatial.
The writer's admiration for the dwelling was "swallowed up in detestation" when he reflected that the labor of four hundred negroes built it. He forgets that the labor of that number never built such a house in Africa
and he chooses to ignore the fact that the Yankees
imported from Africa
the ancestors of these very negroes and sold them to the Southern
The detestable Yankees
had no horror of the slave trade when they carried it on — no horror of slavery when they owned and sold slaves.
It is only when the slave is in kind hands, well fed and clothed, and by his labor making a land not owned by Yankees bloom with beauty, that their "detestation"--rather their envy
--is excited!--But, detesting the building or not, they took care to enjoy its comforts, as we see:
The ladies of the house, relying on the gentlemanly forbearance of our officers, were studiously ill-mannered and insolent, but, on finding that we intended quartering on them for the night, and that we had something of the bearing of gentlemen, gradually became somewhat mollified, and condescended to plead, in the most pathetic terms, against our course of usurpation and oppression.
Our luxurious repose in this palace of the beautiful was interrupted at 2 o'clock in the morning by orders to wake up and push forward to Port Ginson.